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MEDICINE : AYURVEDA
Pancha Karma means the five purification or cleansing practices. It is the main cleansing method in
Ayurveda. Its methods are purgation (virechana), medicated enemas (basti), therapeutic
vomiting (vamana), nasal medications (nasya) and therapeutic release of toxic blood
(rakta moksha). Purgation is most useful for Pitta, medicated enemas
for Vata and therapeutic vomiting for Kapha.
To aid in this process preliminary cleansing methods are done to bring the aggravated humors to the
digestive tract for their elimination from the body. These are oil therapy
(snehana) and steam therapy (svedana). Oil therapy consists of massage with
medicated oils. Steam therapy involves use of a sweat box or directing the steam through hoses
(nadi sveda). In Pancha Karma three weeks of such methods may be given. Modern short term
version of Pancha Karma may last only a few days, but their results may be limited.
Some Pancha Karma centers are opening in this country. Pancha Karma provides the most effective
Ayurvedic clinical method for treating or preventing disease. It is important, however, to proceed it
with the right diet and cleansing preparation and to follow it up with
the right life-style and rejuvenation medications. Otherwise its effects
will not be lasting.